Belgian Classics star Johan Museeuw is to line up alongside fellow Paris-Roubaix winner and former King of the Classics Sean Kelly and 200 fellow participants for the London Paris Cycle Tour, which takes place between 28 June and 1 July 2007. The event attracts riders from all over the world and is known for its friendly, sociable atmosphere.
A unique 3 day endurance ride for amateur and cyclosportif riders, it is run as a ‘Tour de France’ style ride and is the closest an amateur will get to riding like a ‘pro’. There is full support on the road with 22 support staff, 20 motorbike outriders, 3 mechanics, 3 lead cars, 10 trucks and support vehicles and a few extra motorbikes for cameramen and photographers. The ride distance of about 600km is to be covered in three days and is followed by a rest day in Paris.
The route starts in Kingston (Hampton Wick) on the outskirts of London and then travels southwards across the North and South Downs to Portsmouth. The riders then cross the channel by overnight ferry to St Malo in France. Day two runs from St Malo to Alencon in Normandy, and day three from Alencon to Versailles, Paris where an informal prizegiving is held. Following the rest day the riders return to London via Eurostar.
RCUK’s editor will be on the ride, which for the first time will feature a team format with teams of four riders. During each stage riders will be split into one of three groups according to riding ability, with average speeds expected to be around 35kph, 30kph and 25kph. The two days in France feature rally-style special timed stages, which in previous editions have been highly competitive. Kelly and Museeuw are expected to be in different teams, which should ensure some lively action.